10 steps to beat alcohol blues
Jurgen Rehm from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Canada, and David Nutt, Neuropsychopharmacologist from Imperial College London, have created an integrated set of evidence-based strategies focusing on what individuals and governments can do to reduce the personal and public costs of alcohol.
The first four points focus on personal health behaviour. Nutt and Rehm suggest that the first step is monitoring alcohol intake by knowing your numbers in much the same way you would know your BP or calorie intake.
Limiting consumption of alcohol to 20 grams per day for men and 15 grams per day for women is the next step.
The third step is to realise that as with lower BP and cholesterol, lower amounts of alcohol consumption lead to greater health and longevity.
Next, not drinking for one or two days a week can help the liver recover from the effects of alcohol and reduce the risk of liver complications.
The next six points focus on government intervention – like minimum pricing of alcohol would reduce consumption of cheap alcohol, especially in young people, and labeling the amount of alcohol grams would allow consumers to track the exact amount of alcohol they are consuming.
Limiting the times and places alcohol can be purchased will make impulse buying, particularly when drunk, much harder and make it easier for people with alcohol-use problems to avoid contact with alcohol in shops and supermarkets is another step.
While the eighth step is providing treatment for all people with an alcohol dependence problem, the ninth step is investing in research to develop new approaches to addiction.
Developing alternatives to alcohol by investigating the possibility of new drugs that mimic the milder effects of alcohol is the last step.
The study is published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.
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